Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Is spying on teenage drivers an invasion of privacy or a parent's right?

From Network World:
Teenage drivers crash nine times more often than adults. Teens drive more safely when parents are riding in the car with them, but parents can't always ride with them. So some turn to technology to capture audio and video of teenage drivers in an effort to make them feel watched, as if their parents were there.

Although American Family Insurance has offered theTeen Safe Driver Program for years, this recent commercial caught my eye. Two video cameras with audio are installed on the rearview mirrors, recording footage of the driver and of the driver's view of the road ahead. When triggered by erratic driving, 20 seconds of video are sent to a safety analyst at DriveCam who reviews it and writes a critique. If the video is especially disturbing, mom and dad are sent an email alert. The videos are posted online where parents can login and view them. Parents are to 'coach' their teen on better driving habits. American Family reports, 'Parents also receive a weekly driver report card showing their teen's performance compared to their peers.'

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